Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - March

What could make a writer more insecure than not writing at all? The mind just doesn't stop spinning those awful negative thoughts - maybe I'm not a writer after all; perhaps I'm a one-hit wonder; why bother trying, you'll never get an agent; and on and on. All this before you've written one word.

I've spent the last few weeks pondering whether I am still meant to write and the answer came, loudly and clearly. You get sick when you don't write, Karen - either physically or emotionally. My depression was partly due to not writing.

I think anyone who does anything in the arts has some insecurities. Either we're comparing ourselves to others and coming up short, or we're finding all our little flaws and neglecting our assets. But if we've chosen writing, or rather, if it has chosen us, which is much more likely, we must let go of all of that and just allow the words to flow from our hearts onto the page. I have gone back to my intention of writing for a minimum of 10 minutes a day. So far I write much longer than that, but I must do at least 10 minutes.
Insecurities, be damned.

How about you?


Siv Maria said...

Good point! I agree that most creative people that do not have an outlet for that creativity would suffer. At least we still have our ears intact...look at what happened to Picasso

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Your first book was brilliant. If I'm not a one-hit-wonder, than you certainly aren't one!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I really enjoyed your book Karen so I am sure you are more than capable to write another.
Sometimes I question why I write poetry but now it has become a way of life to me and it has become"A Friend", living alone is not easy and I find it theraputic.

Best of luck.

Tracy Makara said...

Oh boy are you right about creative people being depressed when they do not have an outlet! You're also right that we then have to deal with the negative chatter aftermath of being inactive creatively. I've done it too and still do if I do not keep myself in check. This is a good post and I am glad that you are sending the insecurities where they belong!

Mama J said...

Setting yourself 10 minutes per day is a great idea. It isn't a daunting amount of time and if you get into the flow and do more - bonus.

Laura Eno said...

Write on! And yes, I think that writing chooses us.

L.G.Smith said...

My IWSG post is on a similar note. We can't compare ourselves to others. We have to learn to appreciate our own voice and be happy with it.

Keep writing!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Very true. Comparisons suck. I need to write for fun, for health, for life.

Karen Walker said...

Wow, awesome comments today.
Siv, yes yes yes
Alex, LOL, love you love you love you
Yvonne, writing has always been therapeutic for me as well. And yes, it is hard living alone. I have several friends struggling with loneliness.
Tracy, I'm trying
Mama J, setting realistic goals really works for me - thanks
Laura, it did me
L.G. yes yes an yes
Tyrean, I heard somewhere comparison is an act of vengeance against yourself - it is -

Nancy said...

Happy to hear that you re-started your writing practice! It's like exercise -- even though you know it's good for you and you feel better once you get going, sometimes it's hard to kindle enough motivation, especially when you've fallen out of the habit. Write on, Karen!

Tracy Jo said...

You know...you just opened my eyes. I have been beating myself up trying to figure out how to schedule my writing into each day. I kept thinking that I need 4 hours. I always tend to do that, making it bigger than it is. I am going to start with 10 minutes. Thank you so much, Karen!

Karen Walker said...

Nancy, so nice to see you here -
Tracy Jo, so glad it helped - write on!

Angeline said...

At the end of the day, we wouldn't feel insecure and worried about it if we didn't care about it. I tend to write in bursts; three days of manic scribbling, and then a week of nothing. We all find the routine that suits us best.

Glynis said...

Having read your book, Karen, I say never give up writing. I understand about the need to keep the depression at bay by writing. Keep on going.

Hart Johnson said...

Writing is compulsion. i've never really tried to keep myself from it, indulging in things I enjoy like I do. I think you are right though. if I tried to stop I'd get depressed and overwhelmed with all the stories.

Karen Walker said...

Angeline, amen to that - we all definitely need to find our own way and our own rhythms.
Glynis, thanks for that.
Hart, I don't try to stop-it just happens sometimes. Then I'm miserable.

Mason Canyon said...

Karen, you're so right there is always a bit of insecurity no matter what we do. But sometimes that insecurity drives us to do better. The writing will come for you and when it does it will be amazing, just like your first book.

Thoughts in Progress

Talli Roland said...

Writing is a great outlet, isn't it? I love channelling my thoughts to the page. Very therapeutic.

Pk Hrezo said...

Hey Karen! I'm with you. There are days when I just wanna throw in the towel... but then when I think about not writing... oy. I do believe I'd go thru withdrawals. I mean, it's just who I am, and what i love.

Karen Walker said...

Mason, thank you, your words mean a great deal to me.
Talli, yes, very very therapeutic
Pk, that's what I'm realizing, too, that it's just who I am.

Suze said...

'What could make a writer more insecure than not writing at all?'

What a great opener!

Yesterday I took my daughter to her first piano lesson and part of her weekly assignment is to practice 15 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Her teacher said, 'It doesn't matter how long just that she does it regularly.'

Packed with wisdom. Just like this post.

Much love.

Tonja said...

I think we are writers because we need to write. Why else would anyone do it? Great post.

serena page turner said...

i agree with you, even if im not working on somthing like my w.i.p or a new story idea, by organising a day to just catch up on my blog makes me feel more incontrol of things.
My issue though is i often work 13hour days and once im through its bed time.
great post and thank you for sharing.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We always need to be creating something. I write, take photos, build craft stuff, even latch hook - always have to make something.

DL Hammons said...

Writing chose me...pure and simple. I didn't go looking for it and even did my best to ignore it for a long while. But in the end...the writing won. And I couldn't be happier! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen "insecurities be damned" .. and you have a few outlets - your singing, music, dance and writing - now I need to read your book .. per Alex' comment ..

We're here .. time for you now .. no more worries of others .. with thoughts - Hilary